Today we went off to do some rock-climbing and Goddess-Questing. First thing this morning Fiona and I met up with another family with young kids and did a few quick climbs at a rock face half an hour south of us. It was my first roped climbing in 17 years, I think! I did okay -- got up a 5.6 pitch of 35 metres or so. Most was easy, though there were a few moments that made me pause and think. It was enough to remind me why I used to like climbing so much; it's cerebral, and the internal conversation with yourself and your body are so much of what it's all about. Fiona Mad-Monkeyed her way up to the second anchor and quite enjoyed herself. She could be a really good climber, I think: she has a great combination of determination, intellectualism, physical agility and emotional resilience.
Goddess Quest was totally cool. A local potter had spent the last few years creating little goddess figurines whenever she had a few minutes and a bit of extra clay. Each one is totally unique in design, expression and symbolism. Yesterday 333 of them were clandestinely placed in 14 different parks and hiking areas throughout a 200 km loop in our region. This morning the Quest began. If you found a goddess you could keep her. Each one was numbered and tagged with website information so that she could be paired up with her name and a quote. We found Goddess #088, the Goddess of Expectation. Publicity had been thorough -- people were out in impressive numbers and by mid-morning almost all the goddesses, even in the out-of-the-way locations, had been found.
And halfway along the trail is a wonderful bear den. According to our local bear biologist, this den is used every winter, typically by a mother and yearlings or by a pregnant sow bear. It's quite huge inside; I believe we once packed 8 or 9 children inside it at once. Fiona did not want to go in too far. Here she is standing right near the opening doing her best "mama bear protecting her babbies" imitation.
Tonight we're mixing and freezing up a batch of Chai Latté Ice Cream, then settling in for another Battlestar Galactica episode. We're currently nearing the end of Season 3. Season 4 should arrive next week. I'm as addicted as the kids now.